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Chorioamnionitis Risk Persists in Subsequent Pregnancy

Study suggests that there may be a genetic predisposition to development of uterine infection

MONDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Women who develop chorioamnionitis during a first vaginal delivery have double the risk of developing the condition during a subsequent pregnancy, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Vanessa Laibl, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and colleagues reviewed the records of 23,397 women, 10 percent of whom developed chorioamnionitis during a first pregnancy.

Six percent of the women who developed chorioamnionitis during a first pregnancy also developed the condition during a second pregnancy compared to 2 percent of women who did not have the condition during a first pregnancy (odds ratio, 2.93). After adjusting for ethnicity, age, length of labor, length of second stage of labor, use of internal monitors and incidence of prolonged rupture of membranes, the researchers found that the increased risk of recurrence persisted (OR, 1.85).

"This supports the concept of a genetic predisposition to intrauterine infection," the authors conclude. "This is only one possible theory to explain why some women would be at risk for recurrence. The risk could also be related to colonization of the upper and lower genital tract with more virulent bacterial organisms. Further research is needed in this area to determine the etiologies involved. Chorioamnionitis is likely a multifactorial complication possibly influenced by a genetic component."

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